Tumeric: How and Why to take Tumeric as a Home Remedy


I recently wrote this article as a freelance assignment. I hope I am not violating my non-disclosure agreement my publishing it on my own website. I am going to put it here for the time being…but I do need to review the terms I agreed too not that long ago! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post. I may have to take in down in a few hours!

Tumeric: How and Why to take Tumeric as a Home Remedy


The Queen of Spices

Tumeric is a member of the zingiberaceae family or the ginger family of flowering plants. The Ginger family consists of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes or roots. More specifically, it is derived from the roots of Curcuma longa. The ginger family of flowering plants is spread across tropical Asia, Africa and the Americas.

In order to obtain spice from Tumeric rhizomes or roots, the roots are boiled between 30 and 45 minutes and then dried. They are then ground down into a powder form, from where they are added to various condiments for color and taste. Spices such as Tumeric help you cut back on unhealthy ingredients, such as salt, sugars and saturated fat.

India is the primary producer of Tumeric and there the spice is known by regional names. The main botanical ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It is curcumin that creates the dark golden color associated with Tumeric. The taste is slightly bitter and has a mustard aroma. Turmeric has historically been used as both a culinary spice and a dyeing agent. It is considered scared and has been used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonial practices and traditional medicines for millennia.

How to use Tumeric for Health

Turmeric is available in the following forms:

  • Capsules containing powder
  • Fluid extract
  • Tincture

Dosages for Adults

The following are doses recommended for adults:

  • Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
  • Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
  • Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
  • Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
  • Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

Dosages of Tumeric have not been studied in children.

What medical and health conditions can be affected by adding Tumeric to your diet?


  • A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry just this year, demonstrated that Tumeric was effective in combating the onset of Type II Diabetes in prediabetic patients along with the related and deadly comorbid illness, atherosclerotic heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24445038
  • In countries where Tumeric is consumed regularly, there are lower incidents of Alzheimer’s disease and a small number of studies have shown that consuming Tumeric may slow the progression of the disease.
  • It has been demonstrated that consuming Tumeric on a regular basis can alleviate mild arthritis pain.
  • Tumeric can help moderate insulin levels according to a handful of studies and may help these medications work more effectively.
  • Ulcerative colitis studies found Tumeric was more effective than placebo when used alongside traditional medical treatments. Those who took Tumeric for six months after they went into remission had a much lower relapse rate than those who took placebo.
  • Tumeric has been found to provide protection and wound healing benefits for burns, cuts and other such injuries. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12676044
  • The antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral effects of turmeric indicate that it can boost the immune system to fight colds and other viral infections because of a key ingredient called lipopolysaccharide.
  • Indigestion or Dyspepsia. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19513843
  • Assists the detoxification of the liver by increasing circulation and the production of enzymes.
  • Tumeric increases the flow of bile, which is important in breaking down fat. If you’re looking to loose weight, adding a teaspoon of Tumeric before a meal will help your metabolism maximize your fat burning potential.
  • Turmeric is a rich source of vitamins C, E and B6, and minerals such as potassium and iron.
  • Tumeric has been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16737669   and   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16820928


Pregnancy and Breast Feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in large quantities is UNSAFE during pregnancy. Tumeric consumed in food however is fine. Medicinal dosages may trigger a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus. Don’t take turmeric for medicinal purposes if you are pregnant. Gallbladder problems: Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction as Tumeric has been demonstrated to increase the flow of bile. Defer to your primary care physician. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Surgery: Turmeric may slow blood clotting and cause excess bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Diabetes: Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, and when combined with medications for diabetes could cause hypoglycemia. Check with your physician before adding Tumeric supplements to your diet.

Other ways to benefit from Tumeric Turmeric is a preservative. Scientists from Gujarat found that adding turmeric to cottage cheese extends the shelf life up to 12 days. Turmeric is a great pesticide. Sprinkle turmeric powder water near all the entry points of your house to ward of insects, ants, and termites. Drinking turmeric tea may increase your life span.

I saw this Indian recipe for Tumeric Tea:

  • One teaspoon of Tumeric powder
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • Honey to Taste


Alternatively, you can mix the Tumeric with honey to form a paste and then place some in the bottom of your favorite tea cup or coffee mug. Stir to dissolve the paste. This may be a better choice for those who want a realistic taste of Tumeric Tea and who may have more adventurous taste buds.

  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric or turmeric powder
  • dash of lemon
  • freshly ground white pepper for an additional kick

Culinary uses for Tumeric

There is often a culinary angle to every herb or spice! While there are three standard ways to add medicinal turmeric to your diet, it’s more tasty, fun and adventuresome to boost your intake by including it in your favorite recipes.Tumeric is the key ingredient in most South Asian curry powders where it is often found in sweet dishes and fish curries. In Morocco Tumeric is used to season lamb and vegetables.  Here are a few more tips to use when cooking with Tumeric

  • Add a pinch to cooking oil before adding other aromatics such as garlic or rosemary
  • Sprinkle a little on various dishes to add color
  • Mix Tumeric with spices you already have in your kitchen and experiment. Turmeric boosts the flavor of rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables and even salad dressing.
  • Add Tumeric to your pickling recipes for an added zing.






Chakra of the Week: Muladhara

symbol-jumbo-root-chakra Muladhara


The Root Chakra

The root chakra is all about foundation. The various belief systems that have employed the chakras for millennia were all situated around the Himalayan Mountain Range. In order to reach the “Roof of the World” having a secure foundation was vital. There are a variety of Eastern belief systems that have different approaches and views about the origins and applications of the chakras. This post is general and is not intended to provide spiritual instruction.



Suggested oils to support the root chakra include;

The aroma of this earthy-sweet mist will realign your root chakra with the natural world and help you build a strong foundation to support you on your journey to balance.

•2 drops vetiver essential oil
•2 drops lavender essential oil
•3 drops bergamot essential oil
•2 drops cedarwood essential oil
•2 ounces distilled water


Blend essential oils, then add to water in a spray mister bottle. Shake contents vigorously then mist self and airspace to cultivate a mild yet earthy atmosphere that leaves you refreshed and grounded.

Suggested Yoga Readings:

A Beginners Guide to Mula Bandha: The Root Lock

The Myth of Mula Bandha as a way to support the spine while practicing yoga



History of Massage Therapy


The History of Massage as a modern phenomena or definable school of Western thought and practice can only be traced back to the 1800′s. Despite this, there are many references to rubbing with oils and unguents for health and medicinal purposes going back to around 1500 B.C. in China.

Many sources take this number back even further but at such a point, the historiography begins to get shaky and the evidence becomes isolated into fragmentary images depicted in stone or the odd text that managed to survive the ravages of time.

For instance, The Nei Ching or The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine which describes massage, can only be reliably dated to 1500 B.C. but many scholars attempt to push that date back further to 2500 B.C.

Chinese yellow emperor internal medicine classic

The historical debate about Chinese origins centers on the Chinese custom of attributing new works to popular figures such as a favorite Emperor as a gesture of respect. I am willing to leave such historical speculation to others and choose instead to concentrate on the most reliable facts and figures.

Ancient Egyptian carvings also depict massage and Julius Caesar was known to have massage administered for neuralgia.


The ancient science of Ayurveda also advocates the use of massage and massage was common for participants in sporting events in ancient Greece. In ancient Rome, as in ancient Egypt, massage was offered to the public in bath houses and temple complexes as part and parcel of the process of relaxation and bathing.


You may be surprised to learn that there is no written definition of massage from ancient times. Early physicians advocated friction and rubbing of the body and while they did describe how to do this rubbing and why, none wrote a definition of the discipline. Greek physician Galen gave us a description when he wrote Hygiene, stating that ‘the rubbing should be of many sorts with strokes and circuits of the hands, carrying them not only from above, down but from below up, but also subvertically, obliquely, transversely and subtransversely.” Despite there being no professional definition, what we do know, is that people have been rubbing one another for a variety of purposes almost as long as we have existed and that the practice shows no signs of dying out.

Massage is a healthy and vibrant expression of care and compassion for ourselves and our fellow human beings. In the Western world, massage was part of movement therapy and gymnastics before it was adopted by medical physicians. Ambrose Pare and Clement Joseph Tissot both wrote about massage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but it was not until Per Henrick Ling arrived on the scene that massage as we know it began to take shape around advances in medical knowledge. Lings work combined movement therapy and gymnastics with soft tissue manipulation and became known as Swedish massage. In fact, it isn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the word massage comes into its own as a medical term. It was John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Sanitarium who defined the traditional Swedish terms, effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement, as ‘massage.’ Despite this and many other early references to massage by Western medical doctors, massage is still regarded as a complimentary and alternative health practice or CAM by the AMA and not as a medical one. The standard-bearer for Professional Massage Therapy is the AMTA, which was formed in 1943 and is itself a partner with the American Medical Association. In 1992, the AMTA initialized the creation of the NCBTMB or National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, which is one of the primary organizations for certified massage therapists. A newcomer to the field is the FSMTB or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. The FSMTB also offers a recognized certification for its adherents.

There are many types of massage and I could not name them all if I tried! The most common therapeutic forms are Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy to name only a few. There are more ‘exotic’ derivatives, such as Shiastu, Lomilomi and Reflexology as well as the more intensive varieties such as Rolfing, Trager and the Alexander technique which require separate and additional training. All fall under the broad rubric of massage.


The etymology of the word massage itself is fraught with political history. As it stands, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit and Semitic origins for the word massage are all touted by various vested interests with axes to grind about why their position is the correct one and how History itself, is validated by their point of view. As an example of the seeming lack of consensus have a look at the following examples of the etymology of the word massage, all from online and verifiable sources.

  • Merriam-Webster @ M-W.com: French, from masser to massage, from Arabic massa to stroke. First Known Use in English: circa 1860
  • Webster’s New World @ YourDictionary.com: French < masser, to massage < Arabic massa, to touch
  • American Heritage @ YourDictionary.com: French, from masser, to massage, from Arabic masaḥa, to stroke, anoint; see mšḥ in Semitic roots or massa, to touch; see mšš in Semitic roots.
  • Collins English @ Dictionary.com: 19thCentury: from French, from masser to rub; see mass [NOTE: at ‘’mass’’, ‘’mass’’ is stated to be from Latin ‘’massa’’]
  • Chambers Dictionary @ ChambersHarrap.co.uk:: 19th Century: French, from masser to massage, from Greek massein to knead. [question: directly modern Greek? or ancient Greek along unspecified path?]
  • Concise OED @ OxfordDictionaries.com: late 19th century: from French, from masser ‘knead, treat with massage’, probably from Portuguese amassar ‘knead’, from massa ‘dough’
  • Random House @ Dictionary.com: 1875–80; < F, equiv. to mass ( er ) to massage (< Ar massa to handle) + -age

I am not a linguist, but it seems that there is a great deal of work to be done when it comes to the History of Massage etymology, as there is no definitive agreement. But I am willing to believe that at least one of these dictionaries is correct. What interests my inner nerd about such issues are the implications of each position historically and how those positions relate to broader worldviews. I don’t have the linguistic training to discern the answer for myself, so I have to come to a conclusion by going the long way around. It comes from my contextual nature and the style of learning I picked up as a child who loved to read and discern big words from the contexts in which they were used. I know I may have lost many of you with this tangent and I apologize if so!

Suffice it to say, the history of massage is varied and vast and encompasses the history of almost every culture on the planet. My hope for Massage in the 21st century is that it will not be afraid to redefine itself as required to meet the needs of its practitioners and those who seek them out. Any practice that has survived for so long throughout and across history should not be relegated to the backwaters of Empire but should be embraced by the best and the brightest among us as offering something of tremendous value and lasting significance.







Chakra of the Week

I am going to be doing a weekly series beginning next week on each of the Chakras. There will be basic correspondences, aromatherapy tips, an exercise or yoga pose for balancing each chakra and a recipe to try at home begging next week on June 30th. Come back and check each week for the basic information and for how to incorporate some of these elements of Hindu philosophy and religion into your daily life or spiritual practice!  

Welcome Saxon-Hart! Spa and Wellness Pay it Forward Organization


Saxon-Hart is an organization devoted to “paying it forward” in  the Spa and Wellness and Esthetics Industry based out of New York, NY. I took a few moments to ask some basic questions of their founder Heidi Burkhart.

You have partnered with ISPA. I noticed that Chef Pedro received a new suit as part of his makeover. How does this element of fashion relate to the Spa Industry in your view?

“Fashion is an expression of one’s self. When a man catches a glimpse of himself in a new, tailored suit, a sense of confidence is not only seen, it’s felt. A tailored suit is a symbol of power, of being “put together.” When Chef Pedro put on his new suit, his eyes “smiled” in seeing the inspirational man he has become, in spite of his many struggles. He does so much to ensure the healthy eating of those less fortunate. – serving nearly 600 homeless individuals a day, throughout our beautiful city. He aims to bring a high level of nutrition into their lives, while also sharing his profound love for the culinary trade. Additionally, Chef Pedro brings weekly soul searching messages to the congregations he speaks to in Brooklyn and at the NYC Rescue Mission. We were really captured by his story and wanted to give thanks to such a deserving, community minded man. While we did not work with the spa industry on Chef Pedro’s makeover, we were able to later treat his wife and daughter to Mother’s Day makeovers through our extended Saxon/Hart family. She was beyond excited about the makeover and posted several pictures of the transformation to Instagram, noting how the Saxon/Hart team is changing lives in what they do.”

Is Saxon-­-Hart strategically building bridges between Medical Aesthetics and Cosmetology centered Aesthetics by bringing these two disjointed elements of the Industry together common cause or is this an organic development for your project that is ongoing?

“Currently, we self-­-fund all of our makeovers. We are hoping that through additional funding in the near future, we will be able to grow, explore and work with more areas of the industry. We did work with the UNC Dermatology Center with our first makeover candidate, Lilli. I would love to work more with medical aesthetics and skin care practitioners. I personally went through a rhinoplasty procedure, which ultimately allowed me to be more confident. During that time, my doctor prescribed various massage and beauty treatments, which I loved. We hope to share that mindset with more of our candidates in the future.

So far your makeover projects have been for those with medical illness and disability. What social causes might your organization be willing to get involved with?

“We recently partnered with the NYC Rescue Mission for their Mother’s Day event, where we completed 70+ makeovers for homeless shelter moms. Aiming to bring awareness of the NYC Rescue Mission and the continued need to address homelessness .We were able to secure coverage of the day’s activities by several local TV news stations. The Saxon/Hart makeovers brought a fun twist to the day, making for a compelling goodwill story for local media. We were quite pleased with how the day turned out and all of the positive responses we received.”

Are you specifically interested in working with Americans or do you see a global future and application for Saxon-­-Heart’s mission?

“I am a “think big” person, so I would love if Saxon/Hart is eventually able to grow globally. At the same time, I also appreciate the mindset of “scaling back to scale up.” Our focus for now is on growing and expanding the Saxon/Hart giving forward mindset in the U.S. In due time, we hope to be able to share with the world, as well. As for further social causes, we are very open to working with the spa industry to find additional creative ways to showcase talent, while also inspiring others through the stories that we tell.”

Do you have any plans to partner with Professional organizations under the ISPA umbrella, such as Professional organizations for Massage Therapists like ABMP or NCBTMB?  What about Esthetics organizations? Particular schools or research institutions for these spa professions such as OMERI or the Miami based Touch Research Institute?

“No plans at the moment, but I do appreciate all your suggestions! Excited to meet with all in Atlanta and look forward to the possibilities for future partnerships/collaborations to come.” Saxon/Hart 584 Broadway Suite 608 New York New York 10012

Neuromuscular Therapy Continuing Education Course Outline

Neuromuscular Therapy Continuing Education Course Outline

I submitted my proposed outline for a Neuromuscular Therapy Course. I have lucked up and connected with a cont ed company that works on the small scale with short CEU requirements. It’s a good way to get introductory information for less than $20.00 without digging deep for a course that you may not be happy with. Right now, it would meet my needs and create new opportunities.

Be Well and Drink in the Sunshine – Life is Beautiful

"Every person must choose how much truth he can stand." — Irvin D. Yalom (When Nietzsche Wept)